The importance of maintaining a healthy body is obvious: when the body is fit, healthy, and free of disease we feel better, we can achieve more, and the potential to enjoy life is greater. The ancient Yogis, fully aware of this, designed Yoga Asanas (postures) to limber up and purify the body in preparation for Meditation. Yoga Asanas thus enable the body to serve us on our spiritual journey and not hinder us. This Branch of Yoga is widely practiced around the world today, namely Hatha Yoga. Hatha is a Sanskrit word where: Ha represents the pranic, masculine, sun energy, or vital force; tha represents the feminine, moon or mental energy. Hatha Yoga is the union of these two forces: using the intelligent control of the mind to care for, cleanse, and purify the body through various techniques of which Asana (yoga postures) is just one.
I was lucky enough to start yoga classes at the age of 13. These classes were purely physical Yoga Asanas, there was no mention of anything beyond anatomy and physiology. However within the first few moments of my very first yoga class I knew this was something that deeply resonates with me and I knew deep down it was a stepping stone to something greater. I have now been practicing for 26 years and teaching it for 17 years. Over these years I have attended and taught many classes and done thousands of hours of self practice. I simply love Yoga Asanas. I love how they involve such a small amount of space, as every posture takes place on and within the range of a yoga mat. I love the fact that all you need is yourself, there is no need for any other equipment. And I love that the movements are designed in such a way that your whole being benefits. There are many people who fall in love with Yoga Asanas so much so that they become attached to it and many may even develop a greater sense of Ego. It is empowering to master the body but when the Ego inflates it will impede spiritual growth. Asanas have the potential to be liberating and life changing, they can help you feel amazing, however it must not be forgotten they are just an aid, a stepping stone to something greater and those who realise this are left looking for more.
Babaji Surya Namaskar (BSN), one of the five different spiritual practices within Bhakti Marga Sadhana, is an advanced and powerful sequence of Yoga Asanas that are specifically designed to support us on our spiritual path. Mahavatar Babaji gave this Surya Namaskar to Paramahamsa Vishwananda, a living Master who teaches us to Just Love, to experience Divine Love. In fact this sequence of movements is not just a Sun Salutation but also a Moon Salutation, Chandra Namaskar: it is a moving prayer attuning us to the two divine energies within ourselves. Physically it helps keep the body healthy, strong, and energized; mentally it helps to calm the mind, especially the judgement of the mind, making it more positive; however the most important aspect of BSN is that it opens the heart and helps us attain Love, Divine Love.